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Caffeinated Book Dragon Locked account

Joined 9 months, 3 weeks ago

A book-hoarder who wants to learn everything and anything I can when I can through books (especially when hands-on experience not likely or available). A cup of coffee (or afternoon tea) and a good book while on my porch is my idea of a great relaxing time.

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Little Women (Hardcover, Barnes & Noble) 1 star

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young …

Didn't make it as far as Part 2--was just too bloody bored

1 star

I've had this book on my shelves since about 2001, and I've tried to start reading it, only to be interrupted or something would come up. I left it alone for years. Now I know why--because I LET myself get interrupted.

Frankly--and I was very surprised to discover this--I was bored.

Little Women feels disjointed, a bit preachy, and like a "day in the life" story that doesn't want to end. I couldn't even get to part 2 (about pg 241) because the story didn't seem to want to go anywhere. It felt like yes, there were some things ladies of the time needed to know or understand to get an idea as to the things they'll have to deal with growing up. But it's like the story as a whole was stuck. Each chapter made sure to end with a witticism or "moral of the story" moment. I suppose …

The Honourable Schoolboy (Paperback, 2011, Penguin Books) 2 stars

A wild complex ride... so much going on I can't remember what the hell happened... for 600 pgs

2 stars

I'm surprised I didn't like this book as much as "Tinker, Tailor...". I think it was because it was so easy for me to get lost in the events. I joked that some books can be complex, but you don't need to make a spreadsheet or flowchart regarding who, what, where, and when...but I got to feeling it would've been easier if I did make one this time around.

The overall story, that I could see, was interesting in a lot of respects. I found the travels and trips of our heroes worth a read. The action jumps all over the map, and is definitely worthy for a contemporary and historical slant on things. The Vietnam War is nearly over as events unfold, and following Jerry Westerby's adventures, along with the re-built Circus, has its moments. LeCarre is excellent at putting us in the war zones.

Beyond that, I had …

On the road (1976, Penguin Books) 3 stars

Story of two restless young men in the late 1940s who cross and recross America, …

Made it to pg 123 before I had to give up

1 star

I promise myself that I'll give at least 100 pages on any book I've read. And because I've heard so much about this one, I went a bit farther. But yikes, I had to quit--just couldn't get into it anymore.

There are some things I can appreciate with this book, and others I just can't grasp. I can appreciate the unique writing style, in the pacing of the story. There's something happening--or even very much NOT happening--on each page. What I can't grasp is the inconsistencies between thoughts and dialogue, how Sal, the narrator will be giving Dean's (or anyone's perspective) and it abruptly goes into the character talking. I can't word it better, and I barely got the gist of the dialogue.

All in all, I guess I tried to understand the characters, but they were just too much and not enough at the same time, as if they're …

Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1) (2000) 4 stars

Dandelion Wine is a 1957 novel by Ray Bradbury set in the summer of 1928 …

Took a bit to get into, but it gained momentum and I'm glad I stuck with it

3 stars

This book was a bit tough for me to get into at first. It took some careful reading to get the gist of what it was all about, and then it was so simple...almost. It's a summer story, the summer of 1928 to be precise.

It's kind of interesting because it's a story that gets you really thinking about the minds of kids, and what they think and what they believe, such as the belief in some kids that old ladies were never little girls, or that you could bottle memories in dandelion wine.

I think the story had a bit of magic in it, I just wish it didn't take so long for me to get into it. But once i did, I kept going at it. It's definitely different than what I'm used to with Bradbury in a sense because at first it didn't seem like a lot …

Invisible Houston: the Black Experience in Boom and Bust (1987) 3 stars

30 years out of date, but a helluva time capsule worth a look

3 stars

I think this book is an interesting find. I found it a few years ago when I was gathering research materials on Houston in the 20th century. There really aren't many books about the Houston area, fiction OR nonfiction, and I was hoping to write something of either someday.

Some of the neighborhoods described I don't recall hearing about (granted, I'm a suburbs girl), and there's lots of references to old Houston infrastructure and offices, and how gentrification and freeway development changed the neighborhoods I've heard about and passed over.

Regardless of its age, Invisible Houston is a fantastic start for anyone wanting to understand changes in urban development, applied basic statistics, and some useful maps. I recommend this for anyone wanting to go beyond textbooks for socio-economics, history, and minority studies.

Japanese Detail (Paperback, 2002, Chronicle Books) 4 stars

Fabulous illustrations, more like a coffee-table book than a research resource

4 stars

Other than the introduction, this isn't really a book you read--it is primarily illustrations. So, if you were looking for a guide describing the architectural styles and how they came about, this is not the book to do it.

However, this could be useful as an adjunct to other books on japanese architecture, books that speak to how the architecture developed, the aesthetics, the material uses, etc. The photos within describe many elements of Japanese homes and businesses, elements the author says were to capture some of the old tranquility as Japan boomed economically and people began to consume more (the book was written in the mid 1980s).

So, on its own, unless you just like pictures of architecture and architectural elements, or are designing film or theater sets, I wouldn't recommend this book. But it's a good companion if blueprints and sketches just don't help you get it...I like …

Basquiat (Hardcover, 2019, TASCHEN) 2 stars

Great presentation (typical of Taschen), just not my kind of art, I guess

2 stars

I admit, I found the info about the art scene at the time fantastic. I found the story of the man interesting, and of what was going on and the crazy yuppie culture that allowed art prices to skyrocket and so on--let's face it, the 80s were weird.

The one thing I couldn't quite get--and I'm an art lay-person, I admit--is Basquiat's art itself. Some of it I found interesting, and the book's presentation's a good one...but much of the art I can tell I wouldn't be a fan of even if I got to see it in the gallery. I can't pick why that is, but yeah.

But the book's info's good, so if you're not much for the art (like me), then at least an understanding of the world around it...yeah, this book's pretty good for that.

Exploring the Titanic (1988) 4 stars

Been a Titanic nut since I was 5, and got this the year it came out from school

4 stars

This is only 1 of 2 books I've read until it fell apart, got another copy, then read it a few dozen times more. I like it as a quick read and always went back to it when I wanted to "shipwreck browse" (I had an obsession with shipwrecks til I was about 13, still do a bit... though more about the why's and the engineering now that I'm older).

The illustrations and diagrams are awesome and the details easy to digest for younger readers. It's a great book if you can get your hands on it for kids who want to learn more about the ship and disaster.